Sending a message out to the universe
My precious little boy is 2 today! What a wonderful and emotional experience it is, to know someone whom I've given birth to has turned a year older. He is such a big part of our lives even though a few years ago, he did not even exist!
We did not have a party for him; just something small with myself, my husband and my son’s granddad, but on every birthday occasion, there needs to be cake.
He is such a busy body who loves cars and even though he doesn’t sit still long enough to watch movies, he watches Cars (the movie) over and over again (with a few breaks here and there).
Image taken from Google
So I thought, I would try and bake him a cake in the shape of Lightning McQueen but when I searched for examples on how to do so, it looked quite time consuming as well as needing quite a few ingredients that I was not able to get in time. With an active toddler, I don’t get much time to do anything additional, so I decided that I would just bake a simple cake and all I would need is a rice paper printing of the Disney character, to put on the cake so that he will enjoy looking at it.
I took to social media: WhatsApp and Facebook mainly, to ask some people that I knew who had cake businesses in the community. Their feedback was very poor; either no response, very shady responses (no concrete details or pricing), or just exorbitant prices, like R500 for a plain cake with the print on it.
I then decided to "send a message out to the universe" and posted a message on a group on Facebook.
The responses were quick and the assistance was great. People sent contact details of service providers, to advice on where to get the rice paper from as well.
One particular response was from a phenomenal lady named Tshifhiwa Inocentia. She replied to my comment to say that she has a business baking cakes and told me the name of her page on Facebook – Retrobee Cakes. I had a look at her page (and liked what I saw) and then proceeded to contact her. I sent through the pictures of what I wanted and she quoted me a price of R250 for the same photo that someone else had just quoted R500. Half the price! It was ridiculous to think that there are people out there ripping off the public.
After chatting with her, she asked me what my budget was and I explained that I was not having a party, I just wanted something simple and I was prepared to bake the cake myself, I just needed someone to provide the picture that I wanted in an edible rice paper form so that I could place it on the cake. She was so kind enough to tell me where to get the supplies from – can you imagine that? Someone who is in the business of baking cakes but offered information on where I can get certain supplies from, to try and make my life easier! I was amazed at her generosity. I was so grateful with that information and made plans to proceed with baking a cake and getting supplies from places that she advised me on. Whilst still chatting to her, she asked me when my son’s birthday was and I told her – Tuesday 21st June. She then, shocked me beyond belief – she offered to make the cake for me for FREE, all I needed to do was collect it from her.
This amazing lady who didn’t know me at all was prepared to make my son a cake without anything in return, I was astounded.
Over the last few months or years, I've actually began to lose hope in society. I thought that maybe we are mixing with the wrong people or we are just expecting too much. When we do something nice for someone, they either are unappreciative because they feel that it is expected of us (whether it is or it isn’t, that should not be the case) or they continuously expect more. When someone does something, they usually do it in full view of others so that other people can see, or they do something only if it benefits them in some way.
But Inocentia has restored my faith that there are still good people in the world. The way she conducts her business is with full honesty and transparency. Unlike most social media run businesses or social media adverts where there are hidden costs or hidden agendas (like when advertisers say “inbox me” or “WhatsApp me for prices”). She openly puts her prices on her social media pages, which makes it easy for someone to make a decision to purchase a cake, as they know what they need to budget for.
So, with the thought of promoting her business and writing a review in mind, I decided to take her up on her offer. She only asked me for his name as she gathered the information of his age (on her own accord), from my post on the group and then told me that the cake will be ready for collection after 12 on Monday 20 June 2016.
When the day finally arrived, I was anxious because I've never had someone that I don’t know do something so nice for me. At about 16:00 we arrived at her home in Pretoria where she runs the business and this is what she had for us.
Image taken by Ziyaad Plaatjes
Tears filled up in my eyes, I was so emotional but I needed to keep it in, I was in a stranger’s house. The aroma had already hit me before I walked in; it gave me an expectation of butter cream heaven. I was right, I looked at the cake and it was beautiful! It was everything that I had envisioned and more. The details were perfect, the structure – on point and the picture was exactly the one that my son liked. To top it off, there was a little note in the front that said “Happy Birthday Isa” and a little number “2” on top of the cake. My son looked at it and his eyes lit up, she definitely made this boy’s day!
Image taken by Ziyaad Plaatjes
We tried out the huge token of goodwill this evening and every bit tasted as good as it looked. The double layered, vanilla flavoured cake was moist and, to quote my son, "yummy". The butter cream icing was the best topping to complement the delightful treat and to finish it off, she had little silver candy balls on the tip of each iced flower. It was pure heaven.
Image taken by Ziyaad Plaatjes
I was truly amazed that this lady spent the time and effort that she would on a paying client to make a cake for me, and she had never met me before, and did not know that I would promote her business in return. We continued to thank her and gave her a small gift (as our appreciation for her kind gesture) but her response just proves her good soul – she asked that we pay it forward; that whenever we are in a position to help someone else, we do it. She did not ask for anything in return, nor did she expect that I promote her business.
I still can't get over it, and I don't know how to repay her. I wish her every success in her business and I hope it grows from Strength to Strength. Check out Retro Bee on Facebook and Instagram and give her a call for your baking requirements; weddings, baby showers, birthdays and more.
Please note that the VIEWS and THOUGHTS written on my personal blog, unEDited, do not necessarily reflect those of iloveza.com - this applies to other contributors to our website as well :)
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Nabihah Plaatjes is the Co-Founder of iloveza.com.
She is an Award-Winning Entrepreneur, Change Agent, Published Contributing Author, Journalist, Marketing and Social Media Specialist, a Bachelor of Arts graduate, and has been writing since the age of 9.
Nabihah is passionate about Brand Awareness and Brand Loyalty and uses her knowledge in these fields together with her copywriting, editing and proof-reading skills to bring brands to life.
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